What is telematic insurance – some frequently asked questions

Posted by mustard.co.uk on September 15th, 2015

Telematics is another name for black box insurance which is a type of policy that uses a device to monitor your driving. If you drive consistently well and abide by the rules of the road, then you could enjoy lower premiums.

For more information about the ins and outs of telematics and how it works, head to our guide ‘What is black box insurance’. If you already have an idea of what it means and just have a few queries – have a look at some of these answers to some frequently asked questions.

    1) How do I check my telematics/black box information? Your insurance provider will give you access to your data usually through an app or website which means you can use the information to improve your driving habits.
    2) Do you have a curfew with a telematics policy? Some insurance providers do restrict the times you can drive but this isn’t as common now as it was when black box policies first came out. To be sure, you should always read the terms and conditions of your policy.
    3) How do I check my black box score? You should be able to check your driving data online or via an app.
    4) Can anyone else access my data? No, only you and your insurer will have access to your data and if it’s needed as part of an official criminal investigation the police.

Fiat 500 with racing stripes

    5) How do I drive with a black box? The telematics device shouldn’t distract you from driving. Your premiums are based on the data collected so follow the rules of the road, like keeping within the speed limit and accelerating and braking smoothly.
    6) How much do black boxes cost? Black boxes are usually installed for free by your insurer, but it’s always wise to check with the insurer before you buy.
    7) Can a black box be fitted to any car? Black boxes can be fitted to most modern cars. However, some insurers can only install black boxes to cars after a certain year (for example after 2002), so you should check with the insurer before you buy the policy.
    8) Can a black box detect a collision? Some black boxes can detect if you’ve been in an accident based on the impact. If this happens, your insurer may try and call you or, if your insurer believes you might be badly injured, they may call the emergency services on your behalf. Some black boxes are also connected to breakdown services so when you start your car, a full diagnostic is carried out and you’ll be alerted to any problems.
    9) Can a black box drain a battery? A black box won’t interfere with any of your car’s instruments or parts and it won’t drain your battery. Devices do use power but typically less than your car stereo would.
    10) Can a black box track where you are? Black boxes use GPS so technically you can be tracked but insurers aren’t interested in tracking your precise location on a day to day basis. The black box is only there to collect data about the way you drive in order to calculate your premium. The only time your insurer may use the black box to locate you is if they believe you’ve been seriously hurt in an accident or if your car has been stolen.
    11) Can black box insurance be cancelled? You can cancel your black box policy at any time – just bear in mind there may be cancellation or admin charges, especially if you change your mind after your cooling off period. Your insurer also has the right to cancel the policy if data shows that you consistently speed, drive dangerously or have broken any rules outlined in your black box policy.

What is telematics and how can it help drivers?

    12) Where is the black box fitted? Black box devices are usually very discreet and, in most cases, they’ll be fitted so you can’t see it – typically under your dashboard. Some devices are portable and can be plugged in but again they’re usually very small and aren’t noticeable.
    13) Can I turn off the black box? No, you won’t be able to switch it off and they’re usually sealed and tamper proof.
    14) Can the black box track my car if it’s stolen – Yes, one of the many benefits of having a black box is that your insurer will be able to track down your car if it’s stolen by using the GPS in the device.
    15) Does a black box affect my warranty – In most cases, professionally fitted black box devices won’t void or affect your car warranty. If you are worried, then double check with the dealership you bought your car from or warranty supplier.
    16) What happens to the black box if I sell my car? If you sell your car then you’ll need to remove the black box – unless the device was factory fitted.
    17) Do courtesy cars have black boxes? It’s unlikely that a courtesy or hire car will have a black box fitted but if it’s something you’re concerned about then make sure you ask.

Is a black box policy right for me?

Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you think a black box insurance policy is right for you. If you’re a young and inexperienced driver or if you have any driving convictions, then it can be a good way to lower the cost of car cover.

Remember that while black box cover uses your driving data to calculate premiums, there are other factors that influence the cost of insurance.

If you feel that you could benefit from a black box insurance policy then why not start comparing quotes right now, online. If you’d prefer to speak someone, a friendly member of the team will be happy to help on 0330 022 8814.